I struggled with the title to this post. Many have lamented that we now are subject to endless campaigning which is a byproduct of a highly contentious political environment compounded by pseudo news sources whose reporting has been called into question, except by their strident watchers. It used to be campaign rhetoric would be set aside after the election and governance would be based on more factual information and issues. Now, our politicians govern off campaign rhetoric, which means the real issues and facts are less a part of the equation.
This frustrates more than me as we have to argue over what should be obvious, rather than address the issues. Which means true governance stands a snowballs’ chance of occurring. This is a key reason I do not watch the Sunday morning talk shows as I find the truth and politicians do not mix very well. They are more intent on making themselves or party look good and the other party or opponent look bad. Or, as seems to be happening more and more these days, a politician will follow a statement with the phrase “and that is a fact” when it is not really a fact, but an opinion often not a well-grounded one.
This is compounded by a very uninformed and, in some cases, purposefully misinformed public by politicians and pseudo news sources who care less about verification of facts and more about who is to blame for something. Someone has to lose in a story, which means we all will lose. When you only hear what you want to hear and do not listen to the other side or the real story, then you are less inclined to look for solutions that make sense. It is also compounded by monied interests who want you to believe their version of the truth. Since pseudo news sources do not make the effort to verify facts, the monied interests can have a field day feeding these pseudo news outlets whatever story they want.
So, as we focus on the November, 2016 Presidential Election eighteen months from now in May, 2015, having already been at it since January, please ask your candidates how they stand on the real issues of the day that are facing our country and planet.
– How will you help our country and planet address or lessen the impact of climate change? If the answer involves some form of denial, do not vote for this candidate, as we can ill-afford someone denying one of the greatest threats to our planet.
– How will you address our US (and global) poverty problems? These issues are very complex and multi-faceted, so catch-all solutions which do not address this complexity, show a lack of understanding or playing to a voter base.
– How will you address our continuing decline in educational proficiency and close the widening skills gap between job demands and talent?
– How will you keep our economy vibrant in an increasingly global economy where innovation can be nurtured anywhere in the globe?
– How will you address our failing infrastructure needs and maintain them going forward?
– How will you address political corruption in the US and abroad? Will you support a 28th amendment to our constitution that says money does not equate to free speech?
– How will you address our limited water and air resources as our population grows and climate change further limits both?
– How will you keep America’s influence effective in a world where we become one of several powers and we cannot be the key source to fight regional conflicts?
– How will you balance our privacy with our security as you combat those who want to exploit our free culture to wreak havoc?
– How will you make sure woman are treated with more dignity and sexual harassment, trafficking and assault are addressed?
– How will you address our less than healthy lifestyles that have made us the most obese nation in the world? How will you make sure we can build off the success shown by the Affordable Care Act and expand it the remaining twenty states who failed to expand Medicaid?
– How will you address our gun crazy country, where suicides are two-thirds of all gun deaths and access to guns is too easy for those who should not have them or touch them?
I am sure you have your own questions, but these are many of mine. Answers to these questions will make it easier to pick candidates who can truly govern our country rather than win an election.